Raising Vegetarian Children.
It is possible for vegetarians to be adequately nourished for successful pregnancy when breastfeeding and to raise healthy children? The key is being knowledgeable about nutrition and planning the family’s diet carefully. Raising your child vegetarian will establish good eating habits for the rest of his or her life.
If your child learns to enjoy a variety of vegetarian foods early in life they will naturally be attracted to healthy foods later in life.
Although vegetarianism is becoming more widely accepted by society, families raising their children with vegetarian ideals may encounter opposition from people who still believe that including meat in one’s diet is the only way to ensure balanced nutrition.
Fortunately this negative stereotype is far from accurate. This common perception is changing as vegetarianism is becoming more accepted globally. In fact, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA’s) Dietary Guidelines state that “Vegetarians of all types can achieve recommended nutrient intake”.
Numerous studies confirm that a diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables, grains and soy is your best bet for living a longer, healthier and more enjoyable life. Vegetarians live about seven years longer and vegans, (who eat no animal products), about 15 years longer than meat eaters, according to a study from Loma Linda University in California. These findings are backed by the China Health Project, (the largest population study on diet and health to date), which found that Chinese people who eat the least amount of fat and animal products have the lowest risks of cancer, heart attacks and other chronic degenerative diseases. A British study that tracked 6 000 vegetarians and 5 000 meat eaters for 12 years found that vegetarians were 40 percent less likely to die from cancer during that time and 20 percent less likely to die from other diseases.
Furthermore, a study by the Department of Community and Family Medicine at the University of California at San Diego found that children on a vegetarian diet actually grew taller than meat eating children.
Besides these types of global studies, another reassurance about the sustainability of a vegetarian diet comes from the people who really know – the women who have had trouble-free vegetarian pregnancies, and are the proud parents of healthy vegetarian children.
Remember to speak to your health professional should you have any concerns about your or your family’s nutritional needs.